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Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Nov. 29 is Subscribe Sunday, a media campaign encouraging Americans to subscribe to their local paper
Subscriptions are more important than ever to local newspapers' bottom lines, especially since advertising revenue has crashed amid the pandemic, following the gradual collapse of newspapers' advertising-based business model.
Subscribe Sunday is a news peg to drum up more subscriptions, but it can be more than that. It's an opportunity to get Americans to think about where their essential news originates. In rural areas especially, no one but local news media will cover public-agency meetings or high-school games or civic events. Citizens who understand the value of local journalism are more likely to support it.
Subscribe Sunday also an opportunity to promote media literacy, especially those who prefer to get their news from social media. They can be reminded that not all stories on social media are trustworthy, and that many are from partisan websites masquerading as local news sites. Reputable local journalists, meanwhile, put in the hard work of reporting the facts, and when they get it wrong, they say so.
The Globe is publishing free graphics and new statistics today that you can use in crafting your message (sign up here). In the meantime, here's a sample pitch from us you can use: "As you plan your purchases on the big holiday shopping weekend, please consider investing in a strong democracy. Support independent local journalism and subscribe to your local news organization or give a subscription as a gift. Share your purchase on social media using hashtag #SubscribeSunday."
Finally, here are versions of a bumper sticker we developed a few years ago that anyone can use: